2017 NJ Municipal Sustainability Awards Announced

on Nov 14, 2017

Award recipients are Cape May City, Chatham Borough (Mayor Harris), Jersey City, Longport Borough, Margate City, National Park Borough, Summit City, Ventnor City and Woodbridge Township

Today, Sustainable Jersey announced the recipients of the 2017 Sustainable Jersey municipal awards. The announcement was made at the Annual Sustainable Jersey luncheon held during the New Jersey League of Municipality Conference in Atlantic City.

The 2017 Sustainability Champion award recipients are (descriptions below):

  • SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION (LARGE CATEGORY) with 1,035 points: Woodbridge Township (Middlesex County)

  • SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION (MEDIUM CATEGORY) with 625 points: Summit City (Union County)

  • SUSTAINABILITY CHAMPION (SMALL CATEGORY) with 425 points: Cape May City (Cape May County)

The 2017 Sustainable Jersey special award winners are (descriptions at the end of the release):

  • MAYOR ART ONDISH LEADERSHIP AWARD: Mayor Bruce Harris, Chatham Borough (Morris County)

  • CREATIVITY & INNOVATION AWARD: Jersey City (Hudson County)    

  • ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD: National Park Borough (Gloucester County)

  • COLLABORATION AWARD: Longport Borough, Margate City and Ventnor City (Atlantic County)

“The Sustainable Jersey municipal awards recognize the outstanding work being done at the local level,” said Randall Solomon, director of Sustainable Jersey. “These municipalities deserve to be commended for their accomplishments as they help us rethink, refine and build consensus around the sustainable future we want. We are extremely impressed by the innovative and effective sustainability programs and initiatives.”


2017 Sustainability Champion Award:

The Sustainability Champion award recognizes municipalities that have scored the most points in the Sustainable Jersey certification program in three population categories (large, medium and small).

Woodbridge Township (Middlesex County) LARGE CATEGORY with 1,035 points. This is the eighth time that Woodbridge Township has achieved this honor since the awards began in 2009; the Township received the award from 2009-2014 and 2015-2017.

“Woodbridge Township is pleased to once again accept the Sustainable Jersey silver-level recertification and Champion Award for the eighth time. Sustainable Jersey serves as a benchmark for our sustainable initiatives, while providing the Township with additional resources needed to plan for our green future.  In the quest for our eighth Sustainable Jersey Champion Award, Woodbridge Township competed against 445 municipalities, including 208 Sustainable Jersey certified municipalities and 48 silver-level certified towns in the Sustainable Jersey program, earning Sustainable Jersey points with 92 actions in 18 separate categories – scoring a record 1,035 points.  And throughout, Greenable Woodbridge continued to implement many sustainable initiatives and programs that serve to better manage the ways we use energy and other natural resources at work and home.  The Sustainable Jersey program is an important vehicle by which our Township will continue to move into the future as a sustainable and environmentally-conscious community.” -  John E. McCormac, Mayor, Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County  

Summit City (Union County) MEDIUM CATEGORY with 625 points. This is the fifth time that Summit City has achieved this honor since the awards began in 2009; the City received the award from 2009-2011, 2014 and 2017.

“Summit is proud to be a participating community and we are extremely thankful for the important tools and support Sustainable Jersey provides us in pursuing sustainability programs in our municipality. This is Summit’s fifth champion award and I would like to thank everyone that participated in this tremendous effort for our town and who work every day to make Summit a better and healthier place for all of us.” -- Nora Radest, Mayor, Summit City, Union County

Cape May City (Cape May County) SMALL CATEGORY with 425 points. This is the fourth time that Cape May City has achieved this honor since the awards began in 2009; the City received the award in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2017.

“I would like to thank our green team members and their chair, Rev. Jeff Elliott, who have diligently worked to make Cape May City one of the most sustainable communities in New Jersey.  The silver-level Sustainability Champion award is testimony to the wonderful job the City does to make the Nation’s Oldest Seashore Resort a model for other communities to emulate. Everyone worked together to demonstrate the many wonderful efforts undertaken by the City, the school district, the many arts, historic and environmental non-profits and businesses to make us a leading sustainable community.” - Clarence F. Lear III, Mayor, City of Cape May, Cape May County

2017 Mayor Ondish Leadership Award: Mayor Bruce Harris, Chatham Borough (Morris County) This award recognizes an individual who is a driving force behind moving the Sustainable Jersey program forward at the local level and statewide. This year’s award recipient, Mayor Bruce Harris has demonstrated sustainability leadership with innovative projects and initiatives. Chatham Borough is a two-time winner of the Sustainability Champion Award.

“I am extremely honored to receive this award that honors the memory of Mayor Art Ondish, a leader who believed in “excellent local government.” To me, the important thing about the Sustainable Jersey program is that it provides the opportunity for all of us, as individuals, to find ways in which we, by our own actions, can contribute to protecting and preserving our environment. In Chatham, we have focused on encouraging residents to live in a sustainable manner. Our “pay-as-you-throw” garbage system, farmers’ market, community garden, beekeeping club and community apiary, and Explore Chatham trail network are just a few examples of our sustainable practices. Our task is to educate and to encourage everyone to incorporate sustainable practices in their everyday activities.” –Bruce A. Harris, Mayor, Chatham Borough, Morris County

2017 Creativity and Innovation Award: Jersey City (Hudson County): This award recognizes a forward-thinking municipality that supports a culture of creativity and innovation as it implements new approaches to solving problems. Jersey City has prioritized transparency of data and has allowed public access for its public information and engagement and open data initiatives. 

“We are honored to receive this award for open data and public engagement.  We pride ourselves on a collaborative, community based approach to problem solving, as well as creating a more open and transparent city government.” -- Steven M. Fulop, Mayor, Jersey City, Hudson County

2017 Rookie of the Year Award: National Park Borough (Gloucester County): This award recognizes a municipality that remained committed to achieving certification despite challenges along the way. National Park Borough achieved certification for the first time this year after many years of hard work.

“The National Park Green Team is happy to be awarded the Sustainable Jersey Rookie of the Year award. The goal of certification for our borough was important to us and we did not give up until we achieved it. The bonus is that our community will be healthier and more sustainable as we continue with our work.” – K’leen Cucugliello, Chair, National Park Green Team, Gloucester County

2017 Collaboration Award: Longport Borough, Margate City and Ventnor City (Atlantic County) This award recognizes municipal green teams that have advanced sustainability by building strong partnerships. Realizing that sustainability issues do not stop at the town line, three municipal green teams joined forces to increase the quality of life on Absecon Island. Sustainable Downbeach is comprised of the Longport, Margate and Ventnor green teams. Sustainable Downbeach and the Surfrider Foundation worked to have all Atlantic and Cape May County coastal communities pass an ordinance that prohibits the intentional release of balloons. Margate, Longport, Ventnor and approximately eight other coastal communities have adopted an ordinance. The ordinances impose a $500 fine for anyone who intentionally releases balloons into the atmosphere. The group is now focusing on statewide legislation. Through collaboration, Sustainable Downbeach is making considerable progress. Other projects the group has partnered on include: reusable bag education and carry-out bag fee ordinances, beach sweeps, Absecon Island Back Bay Cleanup, bike and pedestrian plan and currently a watershed management plan.

“As coastal communities, the four Absecon Island communities share many of the same concerns. By working toward common goals that improve the quality of life, the results are quicker and our efforts have a much greater impact. Whether it’s working together to limit balloons, cleanup the back bays, our watershed management plan, we are fortunate to have dedicated volunteers in our four communities working to make Absecon Island as green as it can be.” -- Michael Becker, Mayor, Margate

“Ventnor is committed to working with our neighbors to reduce costs and improve the quality of life in our community.  We look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with the Absecon Island communities.” -- Beth Holtzman, Mayor, Ventnor

“Living on an island makes you realize that boundaries on a map are just lines on paper. Actions that originate on land have impacts on our oceans and beyond. Plastic bags, bottles, and balloons are ending up in our waterways and negatively impacting marine wildlife and ultimately ourselves through the food chain. If Longport takes action to help protect the environment, it helps, but if all of Absecon Island takes a stand, the impact is that much greater. Together we have worked to address environmental issues including the release of balloons, plastic bags, watershed management, cleaning our back bays, and celebrating Earth Hour. The Downbeach communities understand this dynamic and we will continue to work together to make this a better place for all.” -- Nick Russo, Mayor, Longport

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